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for the cheerfulness of his disposition, a feature in his character which, connected, as it is, with great and acknowledged splendour of talent cannot fail to give him an almost irresistible influence over the perturbations of sorrow, or the conscience-stricken feelings of remorse.
"Under these powerful incentives to the love and veneration of our host, you will not, I am persuaded, be surprised at the importance which I attach to every thing connected with himself or his friends; nor that I threaten to resume in my next letter the very minute sketch which I have attempted to begin in this, of the poet's house and family. I feel, indeed, and I pray you to pardon the presumption of such an idea, as if he were, somehow or other, associated with the destiny of our house; a belief which has originated, I have no doubt, in the very beneficial effect which his society appears to have produced on the thoughts and prospects of my father.
"I will only add, that nothing has transpired since we left the Hall, with regard to poor Hubert Grey, on whose account, as you well
know, I have suffered, and still suffer, so many unhappy moments. Farewell, my beloved Agnes, I pray to God to have you in his good keeping soon shall you hear again from
(To be continued.)
Avon, thy rural views, thy pastures wild,
Ir was not long before Helen Montchensey fulfilled the promise which she had made to her friend, and resumed the description of NewPlace so circumstantially commenced in her former letter.
"You will recollect, my sweet Agnes," she continues, "that I left you in my last on the
threshold of the poet's house; and I shall now open my picture of the interior, by recalling to your remembrance my father's account of his interview with Shakspeare in his library, as it was the first day on which, owing to his indisposition, and my close attendance upon him in his chamber, that we had an opportunity of dining with the family below.
"I was ushered, on reaching the vestibule, into a handsome room, situated on the left of the porch as you enter the house; it was hung with rich tapestry, representing the Defeat of the Spanish Armada, and the floor was strewed with some of the finest rushes I have ever seen; whilst in the chimney and bay window were placed, in profusion, a variety of sweet smelling herbs and flowers. Immediately opposite the door stands a large cypress chest of great beauty, elevated on lofty feet, and curiously embossed on the top and sides with scroll-work, and emblematical devices. The chairs are cane-backed with Turkey cushions of the newest fashion, and over the chimney-piece, in frame work richly carved, is a portrait, by Van Somer, of his present Majesty, from whom, it is said, the poet has had
the honour of receiving a complimentary letter written with his own hand.
"Here were Mrs. Shakspeare and her two daughters; the former, who is, I understand, nearly eight years older than her husband, and was married to him when he was but eighteen, appears to be approaching towards sixty; and, though thus far advanced in life, still retain some strong traces of having once been eminently beautiful. She was simply but becomingly dressed in a French hood, and moderately sized ruff, a gown of light grey silk, with a black velvet cape slightly embroidered with bugelles, had bracelets on her arms, and an ivory-handled fan of ostrich feathers in her hand. My attention, however, was almost instantly attracted to her eldest daughter, Mrs. Hall, whose features strongly resemble those of her father; and though not regularly handsome, possess a degree of combined sweetness and intelligence which cannot but prepossess every individual in her favour. A smile of the most bewitching expression played upon her lips as I entered the room, and gave the utmost effect to a style of dress singularly tasteful and elegant. A caul or net